hiking trails of hanson

Rocky Run Conservation Area

revised bird tracks
early sunlit hiking trail at rocky run conservation in hanson

The Rocky Run Conservation Area with it's hiking trails

form a ring inside of it's own property,

but are part of a larger hiking route that links

two other towns and their hiking trails to form an even larger loop.

The property is located on the Hanover/ Hanson town line on State St. in Hanson.
The Indian Head River flows through the area creating the two town's natural boundary line.

There is a small parking area on the Hanover side with a small trail down to a peninsula within the river.

Formerly I had thought this peninsula

WAS the property. Disappointed, I did

not pay much attention to Rocky Run.

Though an exploration of this small

peninsula should be included as part

of your hike at this conservation area.

Information about Hanson conservation property isn't as available as it is in other towns.

I found Rocky Run by an exploration of Tucker Preserve in Pembroke, one of the other properties forming the three town hiking trail loop.

The Wildlands Trust has a kiosk with a map at this property location and the map includes the full loop.

There it shows an access trail leading along the river and connecting to what they simply refer to as Hanson Conservation Land. Knowing that this "conservation land" is Rocky Run, I was now excited!

Before the hike at Rocky Run,

take the path down to the peninsula

within the Indian Head River.

Indian Head River flowing beneath the Robert Hammond Bridge in Hanson

Some wonderful views of the river

flowing beneath the bridge

over the Indian Head River!

trail on the peninsula at rocky run

You will find a small network

of trails on this peninsula,

helpful to fully explore this

little piece of scenic property!

possible boat launch from peninsula at rocky run

The trails lead to the side

of the river where a possible

boat launch could be made.

Or just a good viewing point!

down river view at peninsula at rocky run

The down river view at

the tip of the peninsula!

The mileage includes the explore of this peninsula.

trail head area of rocky run conservation area

At the small parking lot, 

located at what is Cross St in

Hanover, and crossing the town

line, a short walk back into Hanson

on the opposite side of the Indian Head

River, a jersey barrier will be found partially in the forest and beyond is the trail leading into the Conservation.

No signs announcing the property will be found here. To access this property it is suggested to cross the street and use the side walk over the Robert Hammond Memorial Bridge. The street is very narrow over the bridge and not a safe way to travel.

view of the Indian Head River from the Robert Hammond Memorial Bridge

Some beautiful views of the Indian Head River can be viewed at this bridge that those riding in a vehicle most likely don't get the chance to admire.

Past the bridge and following to the end of the guardrail.....

Cross again to access the path in.
The trail in is wide here and starts with a slight downhill grade. The river on the left cannot be seen but is usually heard.

beginning climb at rocky run conservation

Shortly down the hiking trail it will start

to climb moderately and soon meet at

.24 with a black chain link fence.

Left side falls away as you climb the hill

up to the fence. Blocked views of the river

will appear at this point. 

At .28 a small granite post is found on the trail.

Shortly after a trail junction.

The shorter loop trail leads straight and the intersecting trail that leads to the right will take you on a full tour of the property.

Caution here if going straight.

In the summer it is much easier to follow the trail.

There are many small trails that leave this main trail.

In the fall and most likely in the winter when trails are not as defined you can lose your way. Not a real problem here as the forest is pretty open. But there is much rocky and almost cliff like areas to be cautious about.

cart path along a fence at rocky run conservation

Going right and following along the fence, another path leading to the left will take you back to the trail that went straight.

At .36 another intersection. 

Going right is blocked by a fence. Go left on a continued cart path sized hiking trail. Found a faded golden blaze on a tree.

The forest is maintained on the left here and dense vegetation on the right.

rocky run viewed from a side trail

At .44 another trail leads to the right not as cleared looking. This is an access trail for a neighborhood street. It runs about .20 and has two ending points.

One at the end of either a road or shared driveway.  Then it continues and ends at a private property. 

Along this hiking trail are faint trails to the stream the area is named after, Rocky Run. 

Very rocky along the hill side down to the stream and potential for more trail development along here! 

Found a ridge above the stream and a faint trail that would make a wonderful scenic loop.

downhill on cart path at rocky run conservation area

After investigating this trail and

back out on the main cart path

at .89 taking a right, shortly after

on the left a trail leading down to

an open area that looks like many trees had been cut down.

In the middle a fire ring.

Continuing on the trail it leads downhill and through a very large downed tree that was cleared just enough to pass through.

stepping stone path over rocky run stream

At .95 the small path to the

right that leads over Rocky Run

by way of rocks.

Smaller trails lead to the left uphill,

our way is straight, but starts to

increasingly make a sweeping left turn.

The trail becomes narrow with the Indian Head river on the right and the hill side on the left.

rocky outcrop with cave like opening at rocky run

The hiking trail leads through

vegetation and becomes rocky and rugged.

At one mile the trail leads through an area

that has been abused.

Here are rocky outcrops and cave

like openings in the rock.

Trails lead up to the top where the camp ring exists.

narrow rugged trail along indian head river at rocky run

The trail leads away to the right continuing on a rugged path.

It passes an area that almost looks like a rock wall leading into the water. Start of a former damn?

All along this way there are several trails leading up hill.

At 1.13 miles of our journey this trail will lead uphill away from the river as well.

It almost leads up like a switchback (zig zag pattern ) up the hill.

Comes into an area of many small trails. One leads down to an overlook area over the river but with limited views.

Soon the trail will lead out to the chain link fence started at. 

indian head river at rocky run conservation

View of Indian Head River

from lower rugged hiking trail.

There are a couple of areas to access the Indian Head River or alternately access Rocky Run from the river.

cliff like spot at Rocky Run

One of the areas where caution is needed!

  1. South Shore Hiking Trails
  2. Hanson
  3. Rocky Run Conservation

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.
Share this page:
Enjoy this page? Please pay it forward. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.




from route 3 exit 27 head west on route 139. This starts as Church St, turns into Schooset St. At the lights that intersect with route 53 turn right. At the next set of lights at Broadway St go left. Follow Broadway around the bend and continue approx. 1 1/2 miles til the next major intersection. Take a left on Cross St. The parking space is immediately on the left.


3-4 vehicles at dirt parking area along Cross St.

Trail Time:

Light- Moderate
possible 2 miles of hiking full property including the peninsula and full tour of the property. Much longer hike can be done by crossing Rocky Run at stepping stones and using access path to Tucker Preserve.

Mostly Easy:

Caution though, some steep trails and cliff like areas near clearing area

Water sources:

Indian Head River and Rocky Run stream

Other activities:

Bicycling on cart path and across Rocky Run on upper access paths leading to tucker preserve,

snow shoeing, x country skiing, kayaking


no dog bags here but,

good dog workout symbolDogs and their owners can get a good workout here
dog swimming availableDogs often get a swim in the river!